IDRC invests in research and knowledge to empower women in India

February 23, 2018

IDRC is supporting research that studies the most effective ways to empower women, prevent gender-based violence, and make digital platforms work for inclusive development. 

New investments this year will improve the working conditions of homeworkers and seek to improve business practices in global supply chains.

“In the spirit of Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy, IDRC is strongly committed to the empowerment of women in India,” said IDRC President Jean Lebel. “We recognize the huge economic and social contribution of Indian women, and believe women’s contribution to the economy can be strengthened.”

New projects

Towards ethical and sustainable supply chains: Promoting decent work for homeworkers in South Asia
(HomeNet South Asia, $574,000; and the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, $312,200)

The project will examine and seek to improve the employment relationships and working conditions of homeworkers, the most vulnerable of which tend to be women, in global supply chains.

Making growth inclusive and sustainable: Promoting responsible business practices in global value chains in India
(Centre for Responsible Business, $854,000)

The project will analyze business practices in global supply chains and estimate their impact on working conditions, productivity, and the wellbeing of workers, with an emphasis on women.

Projects already underway

Labouring women and violence: Building workplaces free of violence
(Sedane Labour Resource Center, $675,900)

The project explores the link between violence against women in the workplace and women’s weak bargaining position in the home. It also seeks to provide workshops and training for women workers.

kNOw Fear: Making rural public spaces safe for women and girls
(International Center for Research on Women, $799,800)

The project is developing a model for fostering freedom from violence and safety for women and girls in rural public spaces. It seeks to identify pathways for gender-based violence prevention and deliver a model where young women and men come together to challenge attitudes.

Tackling online inequality: Making digital platforms work for inclusive development
(IT for Change, $433,400)

The project examines digital platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Amazon) in ten local and/or national contexts in the Global South, including India. It seeks to unpack how platforms affect economic and political inclusion and exclusion, knowledge generation, and gender relations.

Together we can: Assessing the impact of women's action groups on social change in India
(Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, $902,300)

The project evaluated the impact of Mahila Samakya, a government program for women’s empowerment. The program focuses on education for women’s equality in 40,000 villages in 10 Indian states. A policy brief produced by the project and circulated during a national workshop in Delhi was widely used by activists to lobby state governments in support of the Mahila Samakya program. In Karnataka State, the advocacy work of the grantee directly contributed to the state government funding the program when the national government defunded it.

Closing the gaps: Health equity research initiative in India
(Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, $544,800)

The project established a network of health equity researchers that are driving government and civil society to prioritize equal access to healthcare.